Today’s Required Sinatrination

by Brad Nelson7/9/15

Somethin’ Stupid

I know I stand in line until you think you have the time
To spend an evening with me
And if we go someplace to dance, I know that there’s a chance
You won’t be leaving with me
And afterwards we drop into a quiet little place and have a drink or two
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like “I love you”

I can see it in your eyes
That you despise the same old lies you heard the night before
And though it’s just a line to you, for me it’s true
And never seemed so right before

I practice every day to find some clever lines to say
To make the meaning come through
But then I think I’ll wait until the evening gets late and I’m alone with you
The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red and, oh, the night’s so blue
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like “I love you”

[instrumental]

The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red and, oh, the night’s so blue
And then I go and spoil it all by sayin’ something stupid like “I love you”

I love you
I love you
I love you

[Fade:] I love you

Written by C. Carson Parks, Frank Sinatra and his daughter, Nancy, took this song to #1. Further info from Wiki:

The single spent four weeks at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and nine weeks atop the easy listening (now adult contemporary) chart, becoming Frank’s second gold single as certified by the RIAA and Nancy’s third.[4] It was the first and only instance of a father-daughter number-one song in America.

Why must this indoctrination (Sinatrination) occur? Well, consider it an immune system booster shot against this culture’s noxious poisons.

Here’s an interesting version of the song with Frank Sinatra, Jr. and his sister, Nancy.

2 + 2 = Frank


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74 Responses to Today’s Required Sinatrination

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    There are a lot of Sinatra songs I like, especially from that period. I must say that, for whatever reason, this isn’t one of them.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I’m with Tim on this one. How about “High Hopes”?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I think I’d go with “A Very Good Year” as my favorite. Sinatra did a version of “High Hopes” as a campaign song for JFK in 1960, making sure not to mention “apple pie in the sky hopes”.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      “High Hopes” is, of course, a splendid choice (if you can disassociate from the Jack Kennedy version of it). But it misses the spirit of the venture if we use Sinatra over/against Sinatra. My theory is, “Any Sinatra will do.”

      Or Bing. Or Bennet. Or Beethoven.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I must admit, I never associate “High Hopes” with Kennedy. For me it is the scene in the movie with Sinatra and the boy.

  3. Steve Lancaster says:

    Its not just Sinatra, there is Glenn Miller (Moonlight Serenade), the Dorsey Brothers (Song of India), Kay Kayser, Andrews Sisters, many others and Al Jolson. Elegant music from an age long gone.

    Not to forget John Philip Sousa and George M. Cohan from an even earlier time.

    Tony Bennet may have left his heart in San Francisco, could he record that song in 2015?

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    From your post under “Faith and Reality” it sounds as if we need more than than a booster against the noxious poisons encountered in our society. It sounds like we need a complete transfusion of beauty and excellence. I would suggest one starts slowly and gradually build up immunity to the filth.

    Listen to

    1. Any of Debussy’s shorter pieces, “Claire de Lune” and “Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun” are two very popular pieces.
    2. Move on to his “Children’s Corner” and “Le Mer”.

    Once you have heard these you will begin hear and feel some of the beauty which man can aspire to and create. Then start listening to some of Debussy’s other works.

    For other genres

    3. Go back a few years before Debussy to any of Brahm’s four symphonies or second piano concerto.
    4. Go back further still to Bach’s “Brandenburg Concertos”.

    The opportunities are almost endless. Instead of pathetic garbage turned out by frauds and criminals you will hear the music of the angels.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      Kung,
      You could not be more right. For myself I head for Mendelssohn’s Reformation or Dvorak’s New World. Richard Rogers thought so much of the main theme he included it in the Normandy section of Victory at Sea.

      Question, why has Asia become so enthralled with Western classical music?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        why has Asia become so enthralled with Western classical music

        A very close Asian friend and I had many discussions over the years, comparing the merits of various Oriental and Occidental things ranging from religion to food to music.

        Western music, specifically classical music was one thing which my friend freely admitted to be vastly superior to Asian music. And believe me, in his mind, there were few other things which held that distinction.

        I assume that most Asians tend to agree with my friend’s assessment, consciously or not. So many music loving Asians will learn Western music.

        Asians still understand the need to pursue excellence and of pushing oneself to one’s limits in order to better oneself. To do this requires discipline which Asians have in abundance. And they are supported in this by their families. And it should not be forgotten that one’s actions are a reflection on one’s family.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    One of the nice things about this song is that not only is it a toe-tapping little ditty, it’s a repudiation of the hookup culture. More than that, it’s somewhat unique, and definitely old-fashioned, in that the man (I’m assuming Frank as the lead) is looking for something deeper. This isn’t the woman trying to settle the man. It’s the man trying to settle the woman.

    This song is the repudiation of insincerity and the championing of sincerity. Through the convoluted stagecraft of human multi-faceted motivations and machinations, it trumpets simple clarity.

    We’ve become so used to the lies today, few trust simple clarity, honest sincerity, or unhidden motivations. We trust the vulgar. It’s said about Clinton, for instance, that his supporters admired him for his ability to lie. Obama wins an election spouting vapid nothings in front of Styrofoam greek columns.

    Songs such as “Somethin’ Stupid” can no longer be written today. When everything is stupid, what room is there left for subtlety? The simple beauties are lost. Vulgarity paints everything with its sticky cynicism and repudiation of nobility.

    This is not degrading music.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      There are other songs with similar themes from that era, such as “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys (which in fact got listed in NR’s Top 100 conservative rock songs because of that). Or, for that matter, “Bill” by the Fifth Dimension.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yes, Wedding Bell Blues is a wonderful song. Marilyn McCoo shows her vocal virtuosity. Quite a talent.

        Wonder if she ever got Bill.

        And, yeah, Wouldn’t It Be Nice sticks out as an odd song in the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll culture. A pretty artless video, though.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          That’s my oops for getting the one song title wrong. It’s one I listen to periodically. (I didn’t much like it when young, but that has changed.) Incidentally, “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March (and also Petula Clark, who has a superb version) is another in that category.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Oh, good god, Little Peggy March doing anything but the feminist screed. Follow him? Isn’t this song hate speech by now? Love it though. Another version.

            That near him I always must be
            And nothing can keep him from me
            He is my destiny

            Seriously…my ISP could cancel my service for uttering such subversive words. I’ve got to be careful. Doesn’t L.P.M. know that men are completely optional, if not forever an obstacle to feminine fulfillment because of Paternalism Privilege or something like that?

            Follow him? Let a man lead? Oh, heavens to Betsy. But the song did reach #1. Must have busted a lot of red diaper doper baby eardrums back in those days.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I like your interpretation. And I think it is implied that the man is an older man speaking to a younger woman. Given his experience, he should know better than to say “I love you”, but given his age he also knows sincerity is fundamental to a relationship and he does not want to play games.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Certainly that interpretation is valid given that Frank/Nancy first recorded it and forever stamped themselves upon the song. And it would certainly be consistent with a more mature fellow no longer having much time or patience with playing the stupid games of youth while see (in what was always been understood as the proper role) the woman being a little more coy…she needed to be chased. And she’s obviously a beauty, and has been regularly fed lines by the lines of guys after her. “I know I stand in line until you think you have the time…” What a great opening line to the song. It sets it up.

        Brought down and captured by a man who professes love, true love? We’ll never know. We’ll need a sequel to that song, hopefully not a rap version.

        Another great clue to the idea of the man being a little older is this lyric:

        I practice every day to find some clever lines to say

        To make the meaning come through

        But then I think I’ll wait until the evening gets late and I’m alone with you

        Here’s a guy who has clearly tossed a few lines and knows how to do so…and knows the inherent shallowness (if not utility) of those lines. But he’s reached the stage where he’s trying to make some meaning come through, although he knows that in the venue he’s playing that “lines” are the lingua franca.

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    There are so many good things for your immune system: Vitamin C. Vitamin E (and A and B6 and D).

    But don’t forget Vitamin F. Here’s a terrific one to give a warm glow on a Saturday night.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Excellent song. I would prefer a somewhat different arrangement with less brass. It is too upbeat in my opinion. But I think it is hard to beat Sinatra for the voice.

      I like another rendition of this, but I can’t recall by whom. It might even be the original with Fred Astaire.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U43_f1LSKxs

      Here is an earlier arrangement with Sinatra which I like. I would cut back the strings a bit, but I believe the mood fits the lyric very well.

      If I had my choice, I would just have Frank singing with a great pianist accompanying him. Somewhat like is done in German Lieder.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        “Night and Day” was the song playing on the radio when Harry’s James’ wife (or future wife) said “Hey, Harry, come and listen to this.” That happened a lot with Frank at one point. He was by no means an instant success. But for those in the know (including the young ladies his crooning would drive crazy), he was so obviously a cut above. I believe this it was a live broadcast from where Frank was singing at some restaurant or bar. With the advent of radio, they were looking for programming.

        That’s a very nice version of “Night and Day,” Mr. Kung.

        I’ve been reading a bit of a highly-acclaimed Sinatra biography, Frank: The Voice by James Kaplan.

        Frank developed an enormous sense of destiny. He wasn’t particularly a very good singer early on. But he said that he heard things inside his head that just wanted to get out. He greatly admired Bing, especially his perfect pitch, smooth and casual style, and the ability to make seem what he was doing seem so easy. And the way he breathed life into songs — even some of the early cheesy ones he had to sing. He got it inside his head that he would surpass Bing.

        At first, Sinatra tried to ape Bing (not such a bad thing to do). But he soon developed his own style, particularly given that times were changing and had become a little more upbeat and racier — and certainly jazzier. And he determined to treat the songs as if they had meaning.

        This is perhaps the easiest thing to notice about Sinatra, besides his stunning voice. It’s been called many things, but he seems to sing these song as if the lyrics had just come out of him, as if he was telling a personal story. No offense to some of the other great singers, but listen to Frank sing a song back to back with another big name. There’s no comparison. Although many singers have great voices, they are comparative sleepwalking through the songs, merely mouthing the words. Frank brought them to life.

        And like Bing, he mastered moving into and out of the rhythm with his vocalizations. Again, making look easy and natural something that required enormous talent and inner vision.

        This is an inspiration for writing as well. As you said the other day, a lot of people write much but say very little. Goodness gracious, that is so true. Frank got right to the meaning of things. It was there for anybody to do if they could (and certainly people like Bing did, and some other great singers). The same with writing. Very few get to the point, to the essence of things. Sinatra is definitely an inspiration in this regards. Minus the mafia connections, I suppose.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          This is perhaps the easiest thing to notice about Sinatra, besides his stunning voice. It’s been called many things, but he seems to sing these song as if the lyrics had just come out of him, as if he was telling a personal story.

          Some musicians call this phrasing. And I think it is generally agreed that Sinatra’ ability at this was greater than anyone else’s.

          And like Bing, he mastered moving into and out of the rhythm with his vocalizations. Again, making look easy and natural something that required enormous talent and inner vision.

          To be able to do this, one must first be able to hear it in one’s head. First, you toss it around mentally and then actually try it out loud. Of course in order to succeed at this, not only must you be able to hear it, you must also have the voice and aural ability to sing complicated motifs which do not follow the normal harmonic flow.

          Standard musical notation is often not able to score this type of thing on a sheet so it must be heard and remembered.

          For the singer who can do this, there is also the advantage of variety. I can assure you that Karen Carpenter got sick of singing “Close to You” the exact same way.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I guess that explains why Petula Clark did various slightly different versions of “Downtown”.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Yes, very nice phrasing.

            In the bio I’m reading of Sinatra, it says he would read the lyrics cold without any music in his head. He wanted to read them like poetry and delve into the meaning of the words.

            That sounds likely. But this biography is a bit of a hoot because it’s apparent that so many false stories have been spread about Sinatra (particularly by Frank himself) that you don’t know what to believe.

  7. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I will use this string to post other great singers besides Sinatra.

    John Vickers a great dramatic tenor died last Friday. He was a devout Christian and stood up for his beliefs. He refused to perform Tanhaeuser as he found it anti-Christian. And he was often at odds with the “gay mafia” which, as is well known, permeates opera.

    All that is now past, but not his art.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itB1UlPFln4

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Frank had his own sort of ethics. From reading his biography I can say only that he was a great talent, worked hard, and was very ambitious. Other than that, I’m not finding a lot to like about this man. Even many of his friends called him “The Monster.”

      But it is what it is. He had an old-school Mafia-like ethic where broads and booze were okay, but drugs he hated with a passion. In that regard, he was on the cutting edge because he knew they would greatly harm the culture, as they have. Gotta give that one to the Chairman.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Killing Kennedy has some very interesting details about the Sinatra-Kennedy relationship, including Sinatra’s rage when he realized he wasn’t going to be as influential as he had expected. Peter Lawford was something of a victim of the result.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Years ago, I was watching a bio of John Wayne which mentioned an encounter he had with Sinatra’s entourage.

        It seems Wayne was staying in a hotel in, I believe, Las Vegas. He went to bed, but there was a racket going on in the room above him. He called the hotel management asking them to contact the people in question and have them quiet things down. He was told that the suite above his was occupied by Sinatra, but they see what they could do.

        Wayne waited for some minutes, but the noise did not abate. He then put on his clothes, went upstairs and knocked on the door of Sinatra’s suite.

        Some thuggish looking guy opened the door, while behind him some sort of party was going on.

        Wayne let the guy know that the party goers were making a lot of noise and that they were disturbing him and others in the hotel. He asked him to let Mr. Sinatra know this and tone things down.

        Apparently, the guy said something smart about Mr. Sinatra doesn’t take orders from others or some such thing. Wayne started to turn away, but then swung around and decked the thug.

        The party turned down the volume after that.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’ve heard that anecdote before. I’ll let you know if there’s anything said about it in this biography.

          The bio does note that Frank at one time lived near Wayne…and a whole bunch of other stars.

          But there’s little doubt that in and around Sinatra, there was usually a party going on, and often a loud one.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s an interesting anti-Semitic short from 1945 that Frank Sinatra took part in. Would love it if some star made one proclaiming free speech in college. Funny how it’s still okay for Frank to say “Japs.” LOL.

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Today’s (well, tonight’s) required Sinatrination is that old standard, All of Me.

    I first became aware of this song from Steve Martin’s movie, All of Me, with Lily Tomlin. The song in the movie is performed by Joe Williams, arranged by Billy May. Here’s a beautiful version from the movie. It’s a beautiful rendition.

    Even so, I was never too enamored with the song itself. The song (not necessarily as performed in the movie) seemed to be a bit whiney and repetitive. Heard one chorus of it and you’d heard it all. Sinatra has a rendition of it, but this one I find to be so-so.

    The one that blows my mind is the one from the album, Swing Easy. I don’t know about you, but listening to Frank sing this song, it’s the first time I really listened to the music and the lyrics ever meant anything to me. Everything brightened up. That’s what Mr. S was so talented at…magical even.

    The arrangements by Nelson Riddle are fantastic. The song is the same. The notes are much the same. But it’s a different song with Nelson and Frank doing it. If this song has become old and dusty, give it a listen again.

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    And I must say, I’m have a grand time reliving 1954. Sinatra’s Swing Easy (from the Capitol era) is a terrific album all the way through. Who needs rap? Who needs the junk they’re pumping out today? If you can find it, get it.

  11. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    In his last years, Churchill spent a lot of time in Monte Carlo.

    One evening while the Prime Minister sat at the gaming tables, Frank Sinatra walked by when he saw Churchill. Sinatra strode over and grabbed Churchill’s hand, to shake it vigorously.

    As Sinatra walked off, he commented to those around him something to the effect of, “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time now.”

    Once Sinatra and his entourage had departed, Churchill turned to his companions and asked, “Who the hell was that?”

    I love it.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Well, I suppose Mr. Churchill had more things occupying his time. What kind of music did he listen to?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Churchill liked music from his childhood and young adulthood. Gilbert and Sullivan would be typical. Traditional English songs were also favored.

        Although he hated Harrow when he left it, his attitude changed as he grew older. He returned there once a year on a special day and enjoyed singing some old Harrovian songs with the students. He did this for almost twenty years.

        He also liked music hall tunes and military bands.

        He specifically requested there be a lot of military bands at his funeral. In the event, there were nine.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          It’s my observation that most people tend to like the music they heard growing up. Some of this will come from their parents’ tastes, some from the popular music of their era. It’s no accident that I tend to like popular music from the 1960s and early 1970s.

  12. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Here are two versions of “The Girl from Ipanema”. The first by Sinatra, the second is the original Stan Getz production.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NldPFVKYmiw

    and

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2wfkpq_the-girl-from-ipanema-by-astrud-gilberto_music

    From here we should go to Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I didn’t even know there was a Sinatra version until I read Mark Steyn’s article last night. There’s also a version by Petula Clark (and she did it on The Muppet Show as well). And of course there’s my short parody, “The Girl With Treponema” (who really gives the boys a reason to moan).

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I like Steyn’s series on Sinatra and took inspiration from his yesterday’s article to post both versions of the song here today.

        As good as Sinatra’s is, I prefer the original with all its faults. Getz overplays the singer in the last verse. This is something which only ego can account for. He was too good a musician to have done this by mistake.

        And I think the girl’s phrasing is strange in a couple of instances where she jumps the gun instead of stringing some words out to match the tune. For example, when she sings “yes, he would give is heart gladly” she jumps from yes to he in an un-rhythmic way.

        Still the original has a real simple charm which stays with you. Especially if you remember hearing it when it first came out.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Speaking of string words out and phrasing, I was listening to the Sid Mark syndicated 2-hour show this Sunday that features music through the years with Sinatra. I don’t remember which song it was but he was taking all kinds of stylish, even humorous, liberties with the phrasing. He would string out an ending word in a lyric by several bars. He liked to play to the crowd and loosen things up.

          And my own contribution to Sinatrination is this wonderful live version of Luck Be a Lady at The Sands with Count Basie (great swing). Enjoy.

          And I love this comment I found:

          you have to stick a pitchfork into singers these days, just to get something outta them.-todays performers should by law  –  be forced to watch frank and elvis perform before being allowed on stage.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I would have loved to hear Sinatra sing that alone, and with a little more attention. He’s a little laid back. Still, it was smooth. And the one original Stan Getz production simply defines “lounge singer”…and in a good way.

      And right you are. Getz is all over her vocals. The biography I read of Sinatra noted that Nelson Riddle had scored a piece that had horns and stuff playing all over Sinatra. Sinatra took him aside privately and discussed this aspect and they were good to go from there. Certainly few had as much admiration for Nelson Riddle as Sinatra did and really wanted to work this out with him. And he obviously did, of course.

      I knew the name “Nelson Riddle” only from the TV Batman theme song. But wouldn’t you know that he did stuff before then?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I want to “thank” Mr. Kung for reminding us of that song. It’s been in my head off and on now since yesterday. I feel as if I’m stuck in an elevator. I don’t know what to do but try to retaliate. [4th Floor: Appliances]

      Or how about this one. [6th Floor: Lady’s Wear…I mean, look at the blond scampering around in the back]

      Let’s move on to the 7th floor, Hardware.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        “A Kind of Hush” and “Guantanamera” are certainly familiar to me (though the former wouldn’t be my favorite by Herman’s Hermits). I also have an anthology CD with the standards 60s single of the latter, and the Carpenters version of the former. (Multiple versions are hardly unusual for me. I have 3 different versions of “Angel of the Morning”, and I think 3 versions of “Both Sides Now”.)

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I like your 4th and 6th floor choices so no retaliation possible. But you killed me with your 7th floor piece. I cannot stand that commie bastard.

        On a side note, in the summer of 1965 I was visiting relatives in Birmingham and with my uncle while he was getting a haircut. Suddenly across the street there was some ruckus and out came Herman’s Hermits from the hotel they were staying in.

        There were lots of screaming girls trying to touch Herman (Peter Noonan) and the band was having some trouble getting into their cars. What sticks out in my mind is the sight of some girl who jumped on the back of the car holding on for dear life as it started to drive away. (She looked a little like Maureen O’Hara in the film “McClintock” holding on to John Wayne’s buggy as he left town for his ranch.)

        They had to stop the station wagon and pull her off, before departing.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Oh dear. I guess being in a band is being into something good if you can get that kind of reaction. The irony of the name, “Hermit.”

          I did have milk today, by the way. And I think it’s been at least a couple weeks since we’ve heard this one, so we’re long past due. She should have done a Bond song. Or did she? Flash me in that raincoat, babe. Just do it. A guy can have his fantasies, can’t he?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Ahh, the song that made Dame Petula’s career in America. I first noticed it, oddly enough, from an episode of That Was the Week That Was in which they played “Downtown” while showing the seamier side of urban life. But while laughing at the contrast, I also paid enough attention to the lyrics to decide that I really liked the song.

            I do enjoy the video, with Petula celebrating urban life so well. “And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you, someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to guide them along.” That may be what I most liked in the song (and it certainly appeals to me still). But Petula Clark never did a Bond theme song. Maybe if Shirley Bassey hadn’t done 3 of them . . . But she did them so well.

            I don’t drink milk. Of course, that song is on my Herman’s Hermits collection. My favorite of their songs is probably either “Listen, People” or “This Door Swings Both Ways”.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              It’s very likely I first became aware of the song, “Downtown,” via my sister’s cheerleading squad in High School (possibly earlier…she had a thing for pom-poms from a young age). They practiced at our house a lot. A lot of unintentional hormone therapy for someone five years younger, I can tell you.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Excellent choices.

            And this is the song I would sing to Petula after she removed her raincoat.

            http://www.totallyfuzzy.net/ourtube/hermans-hermits/theres-a-kind-of-hush-video_55e1b9220.html

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I first seriously encountered Herman’s Hermits when I went to a local (Edmonson County) drive-in with my cousin (we brought a bench to sit on, since neither of us was old enough to drive) to see Hold On. I liked it (and them), but still didn’t get anything by them until I started collecting CDs in the 1990s.

  13. Glenn Fairman says:

    Just recently returned from a brief car tour of America: from San Bernardino to Clarksville, Tenn., and during the time we listened to Sirius radio. Having a predilection for Classic rock, I at first hovered over those stations. And yet, it is easy to grow tired of the beats, and so we settled on Siriusly Sinatra (a station dedicated to standards) and it made the ride more enjoyable. Who can doubt that this era and genre is the apex of American class and culture—-where seduction was an art and not a brutal and banal expectation.

    We should not downplay, however, the “Old Country” music that one can today experience at the Opry. Nashville! What a wonderful place to tour: The CMHOF, backstage at the Opry, Studio B –where Elvis bared his soul, and the happening nightlife there.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      And yet, it is easy to grow tired of the beats, and so we settled on Siriusly Sinatra (a station dedicated to standards)

      Yes!

      We have a convert. There’s something to be said for rock ‘n’ roll, for some of the modern music. But as I grow older, I don’t grow stodgier but more appreciative of quality. And I begin to understand what different genres of music are for. Rap is for hating cops and whitey. Rock ‘n’ Roll is for drinking, sex, and drugs. Some music is stricktly for dancing (which is a substitute for sex or leads to sex).

      And it’s not the Sinatra’s music (“Songs for Young Lovers,” “A Swingin’ Affair!,” “Songs for Swingin’ Lovers!”) was sexless. As Francis Albert frequently quipped, a whole lot of people were conceived with his music playing.

      But Frank’s music isn’t meant to make you angry, to make you aggressive, to tune or drop you out. It’s just beautiful, fun, lovely, light, charming, and sophisticated. People who listen regularly to rap music are emotionally stunted. And I think the same thing regarding rock ‘n’ roll. From time to time, I do give it a listen when I’m in the right mood. But having listened to Frank (and Mozart, and Dame Clark) — that is, having eaten steak, it’s hard to go back to ground chuck (if not meat that is twelve days past the sell-by date and attracting flies).

      And there’s a soulful element about this. I understand now the full power of cultural programming and of soul-effing, if you will. In order to for something outrageous, awful, or poisonous to remain “normal” to one’s visage, one must stifle those nascent feelings that are deep-down inside by drumming them away by more…more…more volume of trash. This is one reason people on the Left go ballistic when their ideas are challenged. It’s a way for them to drown out their conscience.

      So at this point, I simply will not subject myself to eating spoiled or rotten meat. And I expect an essay on my desk tomorrow about your car trip. 😀

      Oh, and country music (the good stuff), gospel, and classical (obviously) can all be tonics instead of poison, although I’d go light on the country.

  14. Glenn Fairman says:

    The older I get the less tied I am to the orthodoxies of peers and expectations. I love opera, but I have no desire in pushing it on others, as it is an acquired taste—albeit a lofty one. My father loved Sinatra, as do his children, and my own. Music speaks a message to its cohort of devotees. Decode the overarching spirit of that music and you can plumb the depths of a people. And do not be surprised when depravity takes hold at a subterranean level in men’s souls, laying waste to what was once considered sophisticated and adult.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The older I get the less tied I am to the orthodoxies of peers and expectations.

      Some of that no doubt comes with age. We are less driven by newfangled and change for change’s sake. We see further than the latest fads.

      But I also think that given this self-destructive pop culture, it would be perilous not to put some distance between oneself and Lady Gaga.

      I don’t mind The Three Tenors, but haven’t developed much of a taste for the fat lady singing.

      The shocking thing about Sinatra — and Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin — is that these guys could actually sing. Put them on the stage with no triple-dubbed vocals or large orchestra drowning them out and they sounded great. They could sing. They could make very difficult pieces look easy. Dean Martin, for all his drunk-man shtick, was an extraordinary singer. And Sammy Davis Jr. was arguably the most talented man of the last century. He could dance (first-rate), sing (first rate), act, do impressions, do comedy…he did it all. We have no equivalent today to any of these guys.

      No, there’s no Mozart either out there that I can see. Our culture tends to grind people down and make them shallow and vulgar. Could a Mozart exist and be nourished today? It might be difficult.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I think it was Mark Steyn who pointed out just how multi-talented Shirley Temple was in her heyday. She was one person who could compare with Sammy Davis, Jr. as an overall talent. (Davis was a guest star in the excellent Wild, Wild West episode “The Night of the Returning Dead”.)

        Your comment about being able to sing without the band reminds me of the scene in Goodbye, Mr. Chips in which the wife (played by Petula Clark) sings the school song at the assembly — drowning out everyone else with her great voice.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I watched “Chips” a couple years ago…and loved it. But I don’t remember Dame Clark in it. That’s motivation to go watch it again.

          Yes, Shirley Temple is a great example of another multi-talented person. Bing Crosby can also be said in the same breath as “Sammy Davis Jr.,” or vice versa.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            You may have seen an earlier version. The Petula Clark version (with Peter O’Toole as the title character) was a remake.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I can’t remember which version it was.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I checked in wikipedia. The 1939 version has the wife (a former suffragette) dying in childbirth, and is set in the early 20th Century. The O’Toole-Clark version is set during World War II, and the wife (a former entertainer) being killed by a German bomb as she does a benefit performance for the war. (She’s being hauled off to it just after Chips finds out he will finally be headmaster and doesn’t hear his announcement, and when that happened I knew one of them was about to die.)

  15. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Happy 100th birthday, Frank.

  16. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I found this little gem on Frank’s “The Christmas Collection“: I Wouldn’t Trade Christmas

    It’s wonderfully informal and hokey:

    The traffic gets poky
    The turkey gets smoky
    And all of that holy stuff
    The people are shopping
    For things they’ll be swapping
    Like filigree boxes of snuff
    So you pour the hot toddy to toast everybody
    But can’t pour the toddy enough

  17. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Today’s Required Sinatrination is his version of The Little Drummer Boy. Optional is listening to Jimmy Stewart bark out “Merry Christmas.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, I played Frank Sinatra’s Christmas Collection from our MP3 images just now, which includes “The Little Drummer Boy”, right after playing the MP3 of The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas with such treats as Maureen McGovern singing “Hark the Pterodactyls Sing”.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        If we were all liberals here, I’d hand out a gold self-esteem star for that playing of Sinatra, which was above and beyond the call of Sinatrination. Never heard of the dino Christmas album. Sounds interesting.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          We visited a friend yesterday in a nursing home, and he had been playing all his MP3 images linked to Christmas. That’s how I learned about the Dinosaur novelty CD.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Of course, I’ve heard of many Dino Christmas albums. Anyone who hasn’t had repeated listening os A Winter Romance is missing a good one. I’ve got the 1959 album which has a slightly different song order. But they’re all good.

  18. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Today’s Sinatrination is by a guest singer. And there scant few who are among this high rank (Bing being one of them). Here’s another. It’s a delightful Christmas tune, a little out of the mainstream, but I find it quite delightful:

    Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me

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